The examples detailed below are not exhaustive, and were selected to show the potential and diversity of successful False Claims Act cases.
GlaxoSmithKline to Pay $3 Billion for Illegal Kickbacks, Fraudulent Marketing, and Poisoning for Profit
GlaxoSmithKline pled guilty to several criminal misdemeanor charges and paid $3 billion to settle a series of False Claims Act cases brought to the U.S. government by half a dozen whistleblowers and their attorneys. GSK was charged with illegally promoting nine different prescription drugs, including the antidepressants Wellbutrin and Paxil, the diabetes medication Avandia, the pulmonary drug Advair, and the anti-nausea medication Zofran, as well as five other drugs: Imitrex, Lamictal, Lotronex, Floven, and Valtrex. GSK was charged with pervasive illegal conduct that continued for more than a decade, including paying kickbacks, doctoring and fabricating scientific research and articles, bribing doctors with vacations to Hawaii and Puerto Rico, and creating marketing kits packed with unsubstantiated claims. >> To read the DoJ Press release.
Maxim to Pay $150 Million for Cheating Medicaid and the Disabled
Maxim, one of the nation's largest health care staffing agencies paid $150 million to settle a False Claims Act case filed by patient Richard West who discovered the company had billed for so many fraudulent services under his name that they had exceeded a monthly Medicaid cap, resulting in his being denied needed health care services. Noted a columnist in The Baltimore Sun, "If Washington is as serious about fighting medical fraud as it pretends to be, it will recruit an army of Richard Wests to burn off leeches like Maxim.... One man. One wheelchair, one respirator, one computer. And an outrage that somebody was ripping off the program that was keeping him alive." >> To read more
Abbott to Pay $1.5 Billion for Kickbacks and Illegal Marketing of Depakote
Abbott Laboratories paid $1.5 to settle four False Claims Act whistleblower cases alleging the company promoted the off-label use of anti-seizure medication, Depakote. The settlement, includes a $700 million criminal fine and an $800 million civil settlement with the federal government and the states. >> To read more
BP Amoco to Pay $20.5 Million for Stealing Oil from Public Lands
BP Amoco (formerly Amoco Corp.) and related companies paid $20.5 million to settle a False Claims Act whistleblower case. The United States government initially declined to intervene in this case, but intervened at the last moment "for the purpose of completing this settlement." The whistleblower in this case helped to recover more than $270 million in oil and gas revenue stolen from federal and Indian lands leases. >> To read more
DaVita to Pay $55 Million Settlement for Medically Unnecessary Drug Dosing
DaVita, a kidney dialysis company, paid $55 million to settle a False Claims Act whistleblower case filed by Ivey Woodard, a former employee of Epogen-maker Amgen. The case alleged that DaVta was routinely charging for unneeded doses of Epogen. Though the U.S. Department of Justice did not join this lawsuit, over 70% of the money recovered in this case will be returned to the U.S. government and the states, and no money would have been recovered without private whistleblower action. >> To read more
Deutsche Bank to Pay $202 Million for Ripping Off HUD and FHA
Deutsche Bank paid $202 million to settle a False Claims Act case alleging the bank repeatedly made false certifications to HUD and FHA in connection with mortgages made under the Direct Endorsement Lender Program. The underlying charge in this case was that Deutsche Bank green-lighted over $5 billion of FHA-insured loans without doing due diligence on those loans as promised and certified. >> To read more
Oracle to Pay $200 Million for Price-Gouging on Computers
The Oracle Corporation paid $200 million to setle price-gouging charges and for failing to meet their contractual obligations to the General Services Administration (GSA). This is the second time Oracle has been nailed under the False Claims Act. In 2008, Oracle paid nearly $100 million for engaging in a similar fraud.
Defense Contractors to Pay Over $22 Million for Bid Rigging
SAIC (Science Applications International Corp.), Applied Enterprise Solutions, and Lockheed Martin, paid a total of over $30 million to settle a False Claims Act case charging all three entities with bid rigging on a government contract with a potential value of up to $3.2 billion. The rigged contract was to establish and run a new National Center for Critical Information Processing and Storage (NCCIPS). >> To read more
McKesson to Pay $190 Million for Abetting and Facilitating Drug Company Price Gouging
McKesson paid the U.S. government more than $190 million to settle a False Claims Act case alleging the company inflated prescription-drug price information for a wide variety of brand-name drugs in the knowledge that the information, given to First DataBank, a publisher of a drug market pricing compendia, would substantially inflate Medicaid drug prices across the U.S. This settlement represents only the federal share of Medicaid dollars lost. >> To read more
Whistleblowers Help Recover $362 Million in Mortgage Fraud Settlements
Six whistleblower-initiated mortgage fraud False Claims Act lawsuits,totaling more than $362 million, were settted in 2012. Sherry Hunt's False Claims Act case against Citigroup was settled for $158 million. Lynn Szymoniak blew the whistle on a $95 million fraud perpetrated by Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup. Victor Bibby and Brian Donnelly helped recover $45 million from JPMorgan Chase in a qui tam lawsuit not joined by the U.S. Department of Justice. A whistleblower case filed by Kyle Lagow against Bank of America was settled for $75 million, and another case against Bank of America, brought by Gregory Mackler was settled for $6.5 million. Another whistleblower lawsuit, filed against JPMorgan Chase by whistleblower Robert Harris, settled for $6.19 million. >> To read more
Johnson & Johnson to Pay Texas $158 Million for Illegal Marketing of Anti-Psychotics to School Children
After 140 depositions, 10 million pages of documents, and voluminous court motions, Johnson & Johnson caved a week into trial and agreed to pay Texas $158 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit which charged the company with off-label marketing of Risperdal to Texas school children. >> To read more
Actavis to Pay Over $202 Million for Price-Gouging on Generic Drugs
After losing at trial in Texas last year, Actavis Group has agreed to settle and pay $202 million which will release the company from price-gouging charges in other states as well as Texas. Though the U.S. Department of Justice did not join Texas or the other state cases, it will recover $108 million from the settlement while the relator, Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys, will collect $15.6 million.
Merck to Pay $950 Million for Illegal Marketing of Vioxx
Merck, the second-largest drug maker in the U.S., says it will pay $950 million to settle charges related to illegal marketing of the painkiller Vioxx. A subsidiary, Merck Sharp & Dohme, will plead guilty to one count of misbranding and pay a criminal fine of $321.6 million. Of the $628.3 million paid to resolve civil claims, $426.4 million will go to the federal government and almost $202 million will go the states. >> To read more